Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Worth of water

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.  ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

Forgot to take a photo once they got it off .
33,000L in case you are wondering ...the rain didn't make it into the tank .

Tetris, tears and tissues

So here I am counting down the last mins hour before we collect the twins from school.

Today is their best start assessment , a 4 hr stint during which the teacher will take them aside individually and see where they are at  .The rest of the time is for playing. They were fine once they spied the toys on the mat.

I was by then fine. I had a few leaky tears on the way. I wasn't crying , just a single tear or two sliding over my lids. Getting ready and finding stuff was most stressful. A bit of verbal biffing.

DH & I were very tired , he didn't get home from working in Sydney till 1am . I waited up for him. It was closer to 2am by the time we were in bed. Awake at 7am ...

Yes , this is real - it looks worse in real life !
It is like playing tetris with boxes, furniture, the exercise bike, TOYS and everything every day as we try to find a spot for things. Things come crashing down sometimes. The unpacker did not organise the boxes well so I have been rifling through to find stuff I WANT now !

The lads also like to move things especially my shoes (so I lost them this morning too) and keep finding stuff that isn't lost to hand me 
" Mum, I found this ..."
I put it down ...goodness knows where...when I am next looking and can't remember where and you get the picture $^!#

The kitty- Mia loves hiding from the puppies and kids here !
Sadly, our other cat , mumma ~ Ziggy is missing. I haven't seen her for maybe a week now. Lost ? I hope or found by someone nice *sniff*.

My mission once the boys go to school full time Monday is to really get the box tetris under control and organised since we can't unpack it all ever right now.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lazy Sunday

It's been quite a grey and dreary day here . Therefore ...

Insert Me !
Source: tumblr.com via Trish on Pinterest

I discovered I can waste hours on Pinterest and You tube...getting inspired :)

I really want to make this blackboard !

I discovered I need to practice my A B C's .

So I am going to print this out and frame it .

 This I love this whimsical poster too !

Tina Gray {dot} Me

I've also been listening to lots of old favourites and making new discoveries . This song - Can you stand the rain ? speaks volumes !

This I can't embed but over 9 million people have watched it . The message is Hold onto your dreams - when you least expect it be surprised and don't judge anyone !

Be kind to every one you meet this week and go dance in the rain.

Linking up with Thea's

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Grateful - not end up in the frying pan

Most days from son'rise to son'set are busy.

Not our farm but Broken Hill - quickest I could locate

New challenges emerge and I just don't know where to start as we settle in to our tree change lifestyle here on the farm.

There is a lot to do or NOT ; there is no real hurry.

I was reminded last night never to take anything for granted because we can lose loved ones in a blink.

Time after time I am humbled and inspired by words on redefining joy in our lives, no matter what the present circumstances.

I followed the journey of a blogger called Emilie with terminal cancer for a while.
Early in her journey she wrote ...
If there is a bright side to any of this, it's that the unimportant, superficial things in our lives have suddenly fallen away, and we are intensely focused on what remains truly important, which is each other, our family, and making the most of the time we have together now. Emilie Lemmons
Tragically, her time with her two young boys was cut very short.

Try as I might I can't help worrying about how much time any of us have.

The message I try to focus on - is life is far too precious and we should just live intensely in the present, absorbing and embracing life as it happens. Plan for future yes but live for today.

It means letting the superficial things in life go and stop sweating the small stuff. In the end will they matter ?

I thankful for the laughter, squeals and chattering that spills drink and crumbs through my home. {The floors are concrete now so it really doesn't matter}

I am grateful beyond measure that these sounds fill my ears home and heart because it means I have children who are happy and healthy. Children I never thought would bless my life.

I am thankful for my health and theirs. Our health isn't perfect and we have ongoing health issues , but we are still blessed.

I am thankful for my family and that most of time we get along and help each other out... thankful my Brother, Sister in law, niece and nephew who came to spend a few days with us. Plus extended cousins who came to visit too. We were all grateful the temperatures this year were in the 20's ° not 40's °.


We had so much fun catching Yabbies in the dams - approx: 70 yesterday (from 2 dams) and again today (1 of same dams). I bet the Yabbies were grateful we only relocated them to another dam and not the frying pan {yet}. I guess it is all any of us can hope for any day not to end up in the frying pan and to keep swimming another day ! (Do yabbies even swim ? hmm)

Have you tried Yabbies ? How do you cook them ?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ A boy and his dog { x 2 }

Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one ~ anon

A boy and his dog 

Every puppy should have a boy ~ Erma Bombeck

Going to school Nude ~ { Giveaway }

Do you stress out about what your children are {or not} eating at school ?

Let me get to it quick !

 I admit my eldest son's (now 18) school lunch would often return home squashed (and soggy from his spilt drink) at the bottom of his bag, with evidence of other friend's snacks & empty packets in his bag too.

I didn't give him any too many processed packaged treats like BBQ Shapes, chips, mini cookies and the like. Lucky for him , one (or more) of his friends  was always in the running for the most popular Mum of the year was a good sharer .

Mr 18 just wanted the same sandwich, nuffin' different - yes I tried lots of ideas. So I usually gave him what he asked - Vegiemite sandwiches (unless he had already eaten all the bread). He was partial to processed canteen lunches occasionally and I know he raided his Dad's bedside pocket change or conned him more often .

He was in 'paradise' when I did Canteen duty each month. I always went prepared to buy his friends a little $omething too. (I still did school canteen in year Seven [First year highschool in NSW] till I was six months pregnant with twins (MOTY runner-up ?)

I wish he had just thrown it in the bin but he wasn't smart enough so I didn't know ...because I did care. Wasted ! Emotions and food and wrappers (plus lost lunchboxes from him leaving them wherever he felt like)
He didn't starve , he would come home and proceed to eat half a loaf of toasted bread and inhale the leftovers in the fridge.

Twin1 & Twin2 are starting kindergarten in 2 weeks {sob} - I have an arsenal hundreds of new ideas to tempt their fussy bite size appetites thanks to

Larissa has a lunch box love and printable schedule to plan ahead and get organised
Mummy Smiles has this list of edible snacks.
Katrina ~ Organised Housewife has this extensive list of freezable treats ideas {submitted by her readers}

Thankfully my twins love fruit,and some raw vegies, so it is easy to choose seasonal fruits and raw vegies they will eat and I am hoping they don't let them out to play till they eat something.

I am also sending them to school NUDE ! No wrappers unless absolutely necessary. 
We have been practicing with the easy flip openings and screw tops , zipping bags - with no trouble at all with this ...

I like the new Nude Mini Lunch mover because it suits my 'kinder' boys' appetites and small school bags better . Take the divider out to fit non sandwich items - rolls, wraps or slices.

I know they will just want to smoosh  food into their gobs quick, then run off to play ; not sit and chew.

Better still it fits inside the cooler bags we already own (you can buy special Nude ones too). I like the idea of everything staying cool and fresh tasting , plus it's rubbish free.

We were also sent a muffin mover to try, I think it is a perfect size for anything really. Sam loves it being pink{clear is available as well}.

I think they are reasonably priced and long lasting ; we've had a bigger lunch mover for a few years.

There is a SMASHING new range to choose from for kids of all ages. Smash & Nude Food Movers also have a new online retailer - www.bonzoo.com.au

Ok, so I can't be bothered might not have time to do these ideas everyday or go all the way. Hopefully I will find my

Lunch Punches
 or I could try these ...

How smug creative and clever are they  1. 2. 3. 4. ? These were just the cute & easy ones. 

I don't want to start competing for kinder mum of the year !

This I might manage

How far would you go to encourage your children to eat lunch ?

To win 1 x Nude Mini Lunch mover and 1 x Muffin mover - tell me something funny about your school lunches ? 
Leave a comment below - easy I will chose 1 winner !

Australian Residents Only
Closes 6th February, 2012

Disclaimer: I was sent 1 x Nude Mini lunch mover and 1 x Muffin mover to review, no financial payment was received. all opinions are my own.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday Muse and Song ~ I am

I love this song and Australia day is just around the corner.

Another quintessential Aussie song.

Linking up with Thea's

because it is still Sunday somewhere !
What are your favourite Australian songs ? What songs inspire you ?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Quintessential part of every Australian day ~ Piquing My Pinterest

On toast

Eating and drinking is a quintessential part of celebrating Australian day and while I was browsing Pinterest I came across these delicious pins .

My brother and his family will arrive late Wednesday night . We all love to indulge in good Aussie tucker...maybe not all at one sitting.

bacon & egg cups
a little snacktime ...
Lunch & Dinner ...

Dessert ...

washed down with a good glass or two of Australian wine or an Aussie beer for the blokes men !
What are you serving up on Australia day ?

Tina Gray {dot} Me

Zookeeper ~ at not your average Zoo { Giveaway }

We were recently invited to a preview of the January 12th release of Zookeeper , a very cute and hilarious family comedy movie. It was #1 at Australian box office too.

Romance and animals in a comedy together , animals showing us how we are doing it wrong - hilarious , though of course crazy ! Yes, it's very funny and the lack of swearing appealed to me .

They manage to pull it altogether very nicely. It isn't Toy Story 3 or Cars 2 but a harmless comedy with less violence than either of them.The musical scenes at the end are brilliant.
All the animals at the Franklin Park Zoo love their kindhearted caretaker, Griffin Keyes (Kevin James). Finding himself more comfortable with a lion than a lady, Griffin decides the only way to get the girl of his dreams is to leave the zoo and find a more glamorous job to win her over. The animals, in a panic, decide to break their time-honored code of silence and reveal their biggest secret: they can talk! To keep Griffin from leaving, they decide to teach him the rules of courtship -- animal style!
My five year olds really enjoyed the talking animals ...the jokes probably went right over their heads.

They are big fans of talking animal movies (Babe ; Nemo; Charlotte's web, Racing Stripes). The very cute furry co-stars are voiced by Cher (Lioness), Nick Nolte, Sly Stallone (Lion) and Adam Sandler (Monkey) to name a few. You've got to hear their impressions to believe it.

I think my boys hardly noticed the only bit I found mildly disturbing, Bernie the Gorilla describing how he had been abused by another zookeeper . He gets his just desserts in the end , the other zookeeper, not Bernie.

It certainly isn't your average zoo and isn't just a kid's movie - there are laughs a plenty for adults. Laughing is contagious. I also loved the special effects and trying to see if the animals were real . The romance at the end was sweet !

The PG rating relates to mild crude humour but if there was, it was very mild in my opinion.

Kevin James (Griffin , the zookeeper) was , well , a right idiot in love - going all out to win the dream girl who ditched him a few years back , again. The end results were somewhat predictable - watch out for the dynamic Rosario Dawson, the other NOT so romantic interest in the movie.

Bernie, the Gorilla and his obsession with TGI Friday's is very funny and well played out. Harmless ; still I wondered why he didn't need pants o_O

I laughed most of the way through ; I did miss a bit due to a toilet stop and lollie refuel !
To celebrate the release - I have two copies of Zookeeper to giveaway : one Blu-ray disc and one DVD version to be won.

To enter - answer this question -

If you could have a chat with an animal, which animal would it be and what would you talk about ?

The two most original or creative answers win one copy each ! ( Tell me which version you would like or if it doesn't matter)

Closes February 3rd 11.59pm , 2011.
Australian residents only.

Like them on Facebook and check out the Free game app too.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Giveaway : $100 Bunnings Voucher ~ The Grass is always greener ...

when you water it , once a week , using a soaker hose !

  "The grass is always greener on the other side, until you jump the fence and see the weeds up close."
- Albert Grashuis 

That used to be our grass when we first moved into our suburban home. So about 5 yrs ago Hubby got a bobcat guy in and totally removed the top layer of the entire backyard - to get rid of the weeds as nothing else was working... or so he told me ! I just wanted rid of the bindii with toddlers !!

Before he laid new turf , he put tonnes of new topsoil and sand, then installed buried irrigation tubing ...just after this water restrictions came in. 

This was May 2011 
Yes it was that green and big ! Though looks larger than it is.

My husband loves his grass and lawn mowing. He used to do it for a living ( He still has the mower brochure of his first ride on he bought we with lived on one acre in 1993. When we moved back to small backyard in 2000 he sold it to my brother - it still goes.) . I am told he used to mow the grass at his primary school at 11yrs.

DH tended our lawns lovingly and refused to palm the job off to the teen because he just didn't cut it right. While we were away in WA - the teen spilt  roundup ...a weed killer in a few patches {or maybe he was using it to weed o_O}

This was Dec 2011
Ignore the weeds at the back - hubby didn't get to them before I took the pic
Our lawn ~ soft leaf Buffalo ST26;  is also a low maintenance lawn.

I know that some of my friends struggle to get their husbands to keep the lawns mowed, let alone manicured or  keeping a check on weeds. They are not alone...
Turf Australia – the industry body that represents all turf growers in Australia, recently conducted consumer research which revealed that 80% of Aussies have a lawn, but only 30% of them know how to care for it properly. In fact, less than 1/3 of the respondents to the survey knew what type of grass they owned in their own garden !
In December, I was offered the opportunity for a turf consultation with a local turf retailer. Some of the biggest turf suppliers in NSW are from Hawkesbury region (flood plains?). Chris from Millers Turf was my expert!
He gave me some of his expert hints and tips to care for your lawn at different times of the year . Most turf retailers can help households choose the right grass variety for their requirements - they can lay it or tell you the best practices for laying it yourself and maintaining it.

How often should you and much should you water established lawn ?
Once a week you need to give a good soak - (see more details here)
Unless you have a run of 40 °days and no rain ; you will need extra watering.

The best time to water is in the early morning -less water is lost due to evaporation.  
The worst time to water is in the evening because the lawns stay wet at night, which encourages disease and fungus development.

What about Fertilisers ?

Chris said he recommended we (and most people) can use Scott's Lawn Builder - available at Bunnings or anywhere :). It is a good all purpose fertiliser. Retailers like Millers can also advise on specific fertilisers matched to your turf or if you have a problem. Done !!  

Application is recommended every 6 weeks or so from October to March (follow pack directions and water it in well).

We have a few different grasses growing back where the Roundup killed off the grass. Our lawn is quite susceptible to weed killers :(.  We can either leave it or cut it out in a larger patch and lay new turf again. Hubby is undecided as we have new tenants moving in.

How often should you mow ?

Once a week minimum , more in growing season and throughout summer to keep it looking green, and reduce dead looking patches - when you do mow.

I had a few questions about laying new turf in a small patch on our farm. Since our new backyard is now 1000 acres - it will be just be big enough for the boys and dogs to wrestle on play on , our BBQ table & chairs, a special seat and under my the hammock.  

Since I can't have this 

1. My hammock

 We will need to select a hardy grass and non allergic too-   ! I won't detail it all here but all the answers can be found on Millers website.

I know now we need to keep the grass 1m radius from native trees and shrubs so I'll be careful planting new ones.

Chris gave me a copy of 

My husband has the book now !

New turf requires a great deal of water in the first couple days and or it will die off, if not properly watered to the dirt below. It also needs good preparation.
Some turf retailers can also advise or provide lawn care programs - how much or how little fertiliser it needs, how to fix brown patches, how to fill in gaps and weeding, etc. 

So on with the giveaway - 

I have one $100 Bunnings Gift Voucher to giveaway with thanks to Impact Communications and Turf Australia.

I hope you have fun planning a garden make-over, so your lawn is always ready for a  BBQ with family and friends !

Tell me in the comments what is your dream backyard or what you would do with the $100 ?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My husband thinks it is well worth maintaining a patch of green lawn - even on tank water (outside of a drought of course).

Disclaimer: Millers gave me a free consultation as part of Turf Australia campaign. All opinions are my own. I was not obliged to mention them but their website is a wealth of information.